1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Scott (80th)
House Bill 1473
AN ACT TO PROHIBIT DEFACING PROPERTY WITH GRAFFITI; TO PRESCRIBE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS ACT; TO AMEND SECTIONS 63-1-9, 63-1-51, 63-1-55, 97-7-9 AND 97-17-39, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Any person who defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material any real or personal property not his or her own, including property owned by the state or any political subdivision, when the amount of the defacement, damage, or destruction is less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00), is guilty of an infraction, punishable by a fine not to exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00).
In addition to the penalty set forth in this section, the court shall order the defendant to perform a minimum of eight (8) hours a week of community service for a period not to exceed six (6) months during a time other than during his or her hours of school attendance or employment and the court shall suspend such person's driver's license for a period of one (1) year or if such person does not have a driver's license, the court shall issue an order to deny a driver's license to such person for one (1) year after conviction under this section.
(2) Upon conviction of any person under subsection (1), the court, in addition to any punishment imposed pursuant to this section, at the victim's option, shall order the defendant to perform the necessary labor and make restitution to clean up, repair, or replace the property damaged by that person.
(3) If a minor is personally unable to pay any fine levied for violating this section, the parent or legal guardian of the minor shall be liable for payment of the fine.
Any community service which is required pursuant to this section of a person under the age of eighteen (18) years may be performed in the presence, and under the direct supervision, of the person's parent or legal guardian.
(4) As used in this section, the term "graffiti or other inscribed material" includes any unauthorized inscription, word, figure, mark, or design that is written, marked, etched, scratched, drawn, or painted on real or personal property.
SECTION 2. Section 63-1-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-1-9. (1) No license shall be issued pursuant to this article:
(a) To any person under the age of sixteen (16) years except as provided in subsection (2) of this section.
(b) To any person whose license to operate a motor vehicle on the highways of Mississippi has been previously revoked or suspended by this state or any other state and/or territory of the United States or the District of Columbia, and such revocation or suspension period has not expired.
(c) To any person who is an habitual drunkard or who is addicted to the use of other narcotic drugs.
(d) To any person who would not be able by reason of physical or mental disability, in the opinion of the commissioner or other person authorized to grant an operator's license, to operate a motor vehicle on the highways with safety. However, persons who have one (1) arm or leg, or have arms or legs deformed, and have their car provided with mechanical devices whereby they are able to drive in a safe manner over the highways, if otherwise qualified, shall receive an operator's license the same as other persons. Moreover, deafness shall not be a bar to obtaining a license.
(e) To any person who is under the age of seventeen (17) years to drive any motor vehicle while in use as a school bus for the transportation of pupils to or from school, or to drive any motor vehicle while in use as a public or common carrier of persons or property.
(f) To any person as an operator who has previously been adjudged to be afflicted with and suffering from any mental disability and who has not at time of application been restored to mental competency.
(g) To any unmarried person under the age of eighteen (18) years who does not at the time of application present a diploma or other certificate of high school graduation or a general education development certificate issued to the person in this state or any other state, or documentation that the person:
(i) Is enrolled and making satisfactory progress in a course leading to a general education development certificate;
(ii) Is enrolled in school in this state or any other state;
(iii) Is enrolled in a "nonpublic school," as such term is defined in Section 37-13-91(2)(i); or
(iv) Is unable to attend any school program due to circumstances deemed acceptable as set out in Section 63-1-10.
(h) To any person under the age of eighteen (18) years who has been convicted under Section 63-11-30.
(i) For one (1) year to any person who does not have a driver's license who has been convicted under section 1 of this act.
(2) Upon meeting all other state requirements for licensure, a minor who is a resident of this state and who is fifteen (15) years of age may apply for and be issued a driver's license if:
(a) He presents to the Department of Public Safety, at the time of application, documentation satisfactory to the Commissioner of Public Safety that the minor resides with a physically impaired parent whose physical impairment prevents the parent from securing a driver's license; or
(b) He presents to the Department of Public Safety, at the time of application, on a form prepared by and approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety, an affidavit signed by a parent or guardian of the minor and by the employer of the minor, with each signature being witnessed and acknowledged by a notary public or other person authorized under the laws of this state to administer oaths, stating that the minor is gainfully employed and, in order to avoid a severe hardship, needs to be authorized to drive a vehicle in order to retain his employment.
(3) A driver's license issued under paragraph (2)(b) of this section shall be restricted for use between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. It shall be unlawful for any minor who is issued a driver's license under paragraph (2)(b) of this section to operate a motor vehicle between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
SECTION 3. Section 63-1-51, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-1-51. (1) It shall be the duty of the trial judge, upon conviction of any person holding a license issued pursuant to this article where the penalty for a traffic violation is as much as Ten Dollars ($10.00), to mail a copy of abstract of the court record or provide an electronically or computer generated copy of abstract of the court record immediately to the commissioner at Jackson, Mississippi, showing the date of conviction, penalty, etc., so that a record of same may be made by the Department of Public Safety. The commissioner shall forthwith revoke the license of any person for a period of one (1) year upon receiving a duly certified record of each person's convictions of any of the following offenses when such conviction has become final:
(a) Manslaughter or negligent homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle;
(b) Any felony in the commission of which a motor vehicle is used;
(c) Failure to stop and render aid as required under the laws of this state in event of a motor vehicle accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another;
(d) Perjury or the willful making of a false affidavit or statement under oath to the department under this article or under any other law relating to the ownership or operation of motor vehicles;
(e) Conviction, or forfeiture of bail not vacated, upon three (3) charges of reckless driving committed within a period of twelve (12) months;
(f) Contempt for failure to pay a fine or fee or to respond to a summons or citation pursuant to a charge of a violation of this title.
(g) A violation of Section 1 of this act.
(2) The commissioner shall revoke the license issued pursuant to this article of any person convicted of negligent homicide, in addition to any penalty now provided by law.
(3) In addition to the reasons specified in this section, the commissioner shall be authorized to suspend the license issued to any person pursuant to this article for being out of compliance with an order for support, as defined in Section 93-11-153. The procedure for suspension of a license for being out of compliance with an order for support, and the procedure for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, and the payment of any fees for the reissuance or reinstatement of a license suspended for that purpose, shall be governed by Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be. If there is any conflict between any provision of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163 and any provision of this article, the provisions of Section 93-11-157 or 93-11-163, as the case may be, shall control.
SECTION 4. Section 63-1-55, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-1-55. A trial judge, in his discretion, if the person so convicted or who has entered a plea of guilty for any traffic violation, except the offenses enumerated in paragraphs (a) through (e) of subsection (1) of Section 63-1-51 and violations of the Implied Consent Law and the Uniform Controlled Substances Law, is a minor and dependent upon and subject to the care, custody and control of his parents or guardian, may, in lieu of the penalties otherwise provided by law and the provision of said section, suspend such minor's driver's license by taking and keeping same in custody of the court for a period of time not to exceed ninety (90) days. The judge so ordering such suspension shall enter upon his docket "DEFENDANT'S DRIVER'S LICENSE SUSPENDED FOR ______ DAYS IN LIEU OF CONVICTION" and such action by the trial judge shall not constitute a conviction. The trial judge also may require the minor to successfully complete a defensive driving course approved by the judge as a condition of the suspension. Costs of court and penalty assessment for driver education and training program may be imposed in such actions within the discretion of the court. Should a minor appeal, in the time and manner as by law provided, the decision whereby his license is suspended, the trial judge shall then return said license to the minor and impose the fines and/or penalties that he would have otherwise imposed and same shall constitute a conviction.
The judge shall suspend a minor's driver's license for one (1) year for a conviction under Section 1 of this act.
SECTION 5. Section 97-7-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-7-9. If any person shall, by any means whatsoever, wilfully injure or destroy any of the works, materials, furniture, or ornaments of the capitol, or any of the buildings or monuments on the grounds belonging thereto, or shall wilfully deface any of the walls thereof, or shall write or make any drawing or characters thereon with pencil-mark, or otherwise, or do any indecent act, either on or to said walls, or within the same, or shall wilfully deface or injure the trees, fences, pavement, or soil on said grounds, such person, on conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), or imprisonment in the county jail not more than six (6) months, or both, or punished as provided in Section 1 of this act for graffiti.
SECTION 6. Section 97-17-39, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-17-39. If any person, by any means whatever, shall wilfully or mischievously injure or destroy any of the burial vaults, urns, memorials, vases, foundations, injure or destroy any of the work, materials, or furniture of any courthouse or jail, or other public building, or schoolhouse or church, or deface any of the walls or other parts thereof, or shall write, or make any drawings or character, or do any other act, either on or in said building or the walls thereof, or shall deface or injure the trees, fences, pavements, or soil, on the grounds belonging thereto, or an ornamental or shade tree on any public road or street leading thereto, such person, upon conviction, for such offense, shall be punished as follows:
(a) If the damage caused by the destruction or defacement of such property has a value of less than Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00), any person who is convicted of such offense shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) or be imprisoned in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or both.
(b) If the damage caused by the destruction or defacement of such property has a value equal to or exceeding Three Hundred Dollars ($300.00), any person who is convicted of such offense shall be fined not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or be imprisoned in the State Penitentiary for up to five (5) years, or both.
(c) If the damage is graffiti, such person shall be punished as provided in Section 1 of this act.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.